The Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Lakers 109-103 Monday in Stephen Curry’s return to the floor after injuring his right ankle against the Washington Wizards on Saturday. Curry left Saturday’s game with just over six minutes remaining and was questionable going into the meeting with the Lakers.
Curry sat out during the Warrior’s shootaround on Monday morning due to soreness in his ankle but was given the okay to play and led the Warriors to their second straight win. Curry finished just three rebounds shy of a triple-double, ending the game with 25 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds.
David Lee added 23 points and 10 rebounds in the win for Golden State as the Warriors led by 23-points at the half and expanded their lead to as much as 25 in the third quarter. The Lakers fought back late into the fourth quarter but fell short for their third straight loss.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 36 points, while Steve Nash finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. With the loss to Golden State, the Lakers are now just one game ahead of the Utah Jazz for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Jazz beat the Philadelphia 76ers 107-91 earlier Monday.
The Warriors are now 10 games above .500 and hold a one-game lead over the Houston Rockets for sixth in the West. Golden State will next meet the Sacramento Kings at home on Wednesday. The Kings have lost two straight games and have the worst road record in the NBA at 6-30.
The Lakers beat the Warriors in both previous meetings this season, but a strong start from the field helped the Warriors jump out to a huge lead early as frustration set in on the Lakers. Both Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace exchanged words with David Lee late in the first half, and Howard went on to receive a technical foul.
The Warriors look to become the next team in the West to clinch a playoff spot in the upcoming week and have already guaranteed themselves a winning season for the first time since 2007-08. The Warriors beat the Lakers Monday as Stephen Curry propelled his team to a dominating performance while battling through an ankle injury.
With just under a month left in the season, can the Warriors hold on to the sixth position in the Western Conference to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07?